AAEP info; http://www.aaep.org/botulism.htm
"There are no licensed vaccines available for preventing botulism due to Cl. botulinum type C or other subtypes of toxins. Cross-protection between the B and C subtypes does not occur; thus routine vaccination against Cl. botulinum type C is not currently practiced."
First of all, I'm very sorry for your loss. Thats a terrible thing to happen.
Botulism is pretty rare out here in the west. Not an endemic problem like you guys in the South and East have. Vaccinating against it is pretty much unheard of and I'm not sure that the vaccine even works against what we tend to see here (ETA, see Equibrit's post above,) which is usually caused by dead animals in hay bales.
Someone I know lost two horses a few years ago from feeding them contaminated hay. While we all think we wouldn't do that, it's pretty easy if you are throwing hay in the dark not to notice a small rodent crunched into a flake. And it's not just that flake that's going to be contaminated, particularly if it was an animal of any size--I think they found a rabbit, disposed of those immediate flakes and fed the rest of the bale thinking it would be OK, if I remember rightly.
If your other horses are all right at the moment, you have probably dodged the bullet. But if you feed round bales I'd be ditching the one the mare was eating from right quick, myself, and if not, then do take a close look at the hay you are feeding anyway.
Sorry about your mare sonnycher, Fingers crossed for the others.
The last one I know about in Southern California would have been about 15 years ago, and related to dead rodents getting smashed into hay cubes.
I remember the vet coming in in the afternoon on a call for my trainer's horse (not botulism related), after he'd spent the morning euthanizing something like 10 horses with botulism. She pulled the horse out of the stall and he said, "Well, the good news is that he doesn't have botulism."
If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket
The clinic I work for sees a few cases per year. It's not necessarily a death sentence, but you have to decide if you want to put the horse and your finances through at least a month of recumbency/sling time. I've not heard of multiple horses at one farm getting it, but I suppose it's possible. Most horses around here are vaccinated, though I couldn't even find the vaccine when I lived in Michigan. I just bought my boosters on Saturday. Guess I should go give them.
The odds are very good that it was only a small amount of contaminated feed/ hay etc.-- but until you know for sure, I would not feed ANYTHING the horse had access to. In fact, if your grain/ hay cubes etc. are all from the same batch as the dead horse's I would not feed any of it. Hay from a different bale is most likely okay. Scrub out all the tubs with bleach in case there is left over contaminated feed.
Thank you all....I ordered a new stack of hay to be delivered, but how do you know, could be a little dead mouse in there, too...I am beyond a little freaked out...I guess there is a vaccine for botulism, waiting for the vet to call me back all day to see if I can give it now, even with potential exposure...but how do you know they don't always have potential exposure at any given time....
A killed vaccine (toxoid) directed against Cl. botulinum type B only is licensed for use in horses in the United States. Its primary indication is for prevention of the Shaker Foal Syndrome by colostral transfer of antibodies produced by vaccination of the pregnant mare. Almost all cases of Shaker Foal Syndrome, a significant problem in Kentucky and in the mid-Atlantic seaboard states in foals between 2 weeks and 8 months of age, are caused by Cl. botulinum type B. Limited information suggests that foals vaccinated with the toxoid at 2 weeks, 4 weeks and at 8 weeks of age developed adequate serologic response, even in the presence of passive maternal antibodies.
There are no licensed vaccines available for preventing botulism due to Cl. botulinum type C or other subtypes of toxins. Cross-protection between the B and C subtypes does not occur; thus routine vaccination against Cl. botulinum type C is not currently practiced."
Right, if it's the dead mouse you're worried about, you can't do anything about that other than inspect each flake as you put it out (actually this is a great reason I love to peel off the hay from my round bales - I see ALL the hay that gets put out). There's no vaccine for it - the only vaccine is for Type B, which is the soil-borne bacteria. But even then, it's not just about the soil - it's about whatever the horse eats coming into contact with soil that has it, and that "stuff" getting into an anaerobic situation to allow the spores (?) to "come alive" if you will.
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET
There was a cat carcass in one of the bales as we were loading, we threw it and the neighboring bales off to the side, but I've been feeling so guilty...but I know it could be from something as tiny as a baby mouse that you would not even see....